Israel hosts first event on food scarcity and climate technology with Abraham Accord countries

Israel hosts first event on food scarcity and climate technology with Abraham Accord countries

The first conference focusing on food scarcity and climate concerns with the signatories to the Abraham Accords will be held in the southern city of Eilat next month.

The event, which takes place from October 18-20, is the Agriculture Initiative MinistryIt will be attended by representatives of two countries of the Abraham Agreement, Bahrain and Morocco. Jordan; And the Mediterranean countries Cyprus and Malta.

“The whole world is currently dealing with issues of food security and the climate crisis. The link between the desert and the sea provides many opportunities for developing advanced technologies on which future food growth will depend,” said Oded Forer, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The State of Israel has enormous potential in this field, and it is already leading the relevant research and technology development. This conference will pave the way for cooperation with countries across our region that face similar challenges and climates.”

The first international summit on food from the sea and the desert is part of an effort to increase economic and agricultural ties between Israel and its Arab and Mediterranean neighbors.

The event also highlights the increasing cost of climate in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries. The World Bank has estimated that by 2050, Middle Eastern countries are expected to lose approximately 6-14% of their GDP due to climate-related water scarcity alone.

Seaside development work in Eilat, in a photo distributed by an Environmental Protection Ministry official on July 4, 2022 (Eli Warburg/Environmental Protection Ministry)

Food scarcity is also rampant. In 2020, the World Bank said that one in five people in the Middle East and North Africa is food insecure, even though they make up only 6% of the world’s population.

The effects of climate change are also a concern for the city of Eilat, a tourist hotspot in southern Israel on the Red Sea, as well as similar coastal sites such as the Red Sea Riviera in Egypt and Aqaba in Jordan.

Eilat is trying to position itself as an international center for agricultural and food technology, having implemented last year a multi-year development plan worth NIS 170 million ($49 million) for this purpose.

However, a study Israeli researchers published earlier this year predicted that “the number of international and domestic tourists to outdoor recreation sites in Israel will drop significantly” by 2050, due to increasingly extreme weather patterns.

The impact of a changing climate has recently been felt across the Middle East and South Asia. Massive floods devastated swathes of Pakistan and Iran during the summer, with Pakistan experiencing its worst monsoon floods in a decade, leaving a third of the country under water.

Displaced people float belongings salvaged from flooded homes on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan, August 28, 2022. Officials in Pakistan say deaths from widespread flooding have crossed 1,000 since mid-June. Flash floods caused by torrential rains swept away villages and crops as soldiers and rescue workers evacuated stranded residents to safe relief camps and fed thousands of displaced Pakistanis. (AP Photo/Mohamed Sajjad)

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